Complete Streets Arrives In Bay Area

Gary Richards, the Roadshow columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, provides many examples of redesigning streets for bikes, peds, and transit throughout the Bay Area, a direct result of the 2008 California Complete Streets legislation.
August 21, 2011, 5am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"Across the Bay Area and California, cities are removing or narrowing lanes and redesigning hundreds of streets to add bike lanes, speed up transit and improve pedestrian safety.

The car remains king, but the crown is slipping.

Some changes began years ago, but the push toward "road diets," as transportation planners call them, took off in 2008, when the state endorsed the concept of "complete streets" for urban neighborhoods in which the entire streetscape, from sidewalk to sidewalk, is geared for safe access and use by nondrivers."

Richards highlights conversion of one-way to two-way streets in downtown San Jose to reduce traffic speeds, a lane 'taking' by a bus rapid transit system in preliminary engineering in San Jose, and street 'makeovers' in the many smaller cities in the Bay Area as well as San Francisco and Oakland. As Hans Larsen, director of San Jose's Dept. of Transportation summarizes, "For decades, planning has focused on the efficient movement of cars. The result has been communities that are dependent on cars and are not conducive to walking and biking and transit."

No longer.

Thanks to National Complete Streets Coalition

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Published on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 in The Mercury News
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